I’ve found a new companion. He’s totally adorable! But getting him home was quite an adventure.
I was invited to enter a pumpkin contest. I didn’t realize pumpkin carving could be pretty fun (and messy). Not bad for my first try though. Check out my masterpiece! I call it the Crazy Sexy Pumpkin.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. That’s what I’ve been telling myself every day. It may not be where I want to be, but there are lessons to be learned, and blessings to be had here.
I’ve had no luck finding a full-time job. But I have received some responses.
“Sorry, the position has been filled by someone whose resume looks much better than yours, and requires a lot less money than what you’re asking for anyway. We wish you all the best in the crappy journey of finding a job. And we’re so glad we’re not in your shoes.”
Okay, maybe that’s not exactly what the responses have said, but that’s what they sound like in my head.
I hate looking for a job!
After high school I had the opportunity to intern at a radio station, and I knew immediately that that was exactly what I wanted to do. So, to the disappointment of my family, I quit college after about a semester and passionately pursued radio instead. It didn’t take long before I got my first gig, and things quickly took off from there. One job just naturally led to the next. I hardly ever had to go out in search of my next job. I’m not saying that it was always easy, but it was always fun. I was good at what I did, the money was great, and I was having a blast! What could be better?
Then about 20 years into my radio career, I was let go from a station I had been at for a decade because of a format change. For some reason I decided it was time to look for a “grown-up” job. (You know, one of those with a desk and a phone, in a cubicle, where your boss is watching the clock to see when you come in and when you leave.)
Maybe it was that gnawing voice in the back of my head that kept popping up after every one of my accomplishments saying, “…yeah but you dropped out of college, so you’re not really that great.” I felt like I needed to prove to myself, to my family, to the lingering spirits of past teachers, that there was so much more I could do than just turn on a microphone and talk.
I dabbled in a few things since then – jobs I considered to be “grown-up” – and I did well. I got promotions, I got raises, I got bonuses, I was even voted “employee of the month” a couple of times. But I was never happy. I had sacrificed fun, creativity, and a wonderful quality of life for a mundane 9 to 5.
All because I needed to prove to the world that I was good enough? That’s nonsense!
I’m realizing now how important it is to be true to myself. I knew since high school that college wouldn’t be for me. But teachers tried to convince me that without it, I wouldn’t get very far. Thankfully I had enough faith in myself to venture out into the rocky terrain regardless of their assumptions. It wasn’t until I started giving other people’s opinions more weight than my own that the struggle began.
It’s a wonderful lesson to learn. (A painful one nonetheless.) I’m starting to see that being grown-up has nothing to do with a job. It’s about having faith in yourself and respecting your own journey. It’s about having the courage to say, “I appreciate your opinion, but I know what’s best for me.” It’s about making choices out of love, and having the faith that they’ll lead you in the right direction.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
I can’t remember the last time I took my truck to the car wash, but it desperately needed a good bath!
I was out running errands over the weekend and as I walked by the shaving cream aisle at Target, I reached for my phone to send my husband a text asking, “need anything from the store?” When it dawned on me that he’s now my ex-husband, I immediately felt as if I was dropping hundreds of feet from an amusement park freefall ride. I walked out of the store empty handed and sat in my truck for a while, just crying.
Time and time again, I’ve also sat in the living room, in the same spot where we made our decision to go our separate ways, in tears imagining a different outcome. What if he chose us instead? What if it was just a blip in our marriage that we looked back on years later as a defining moment in our relationship? What if it was just an obstacle we overcame that brought us closer together and made us a stronger couple?
But that’s not what happened. I remember feeling like someone took a serrated knife to my stomach and extracted my guts out the moment I knew it was over. I was empty – completely hollow inside – and didn’t have the energy to pick up the mess before me. Instead I fell to my knees and gave up. I quit my job. I slept in. I stopped answering the phone. I stopped cleaning the house. (And anyone that knows me well, knows that I’ve reached a catastrophic level once I’ve given up cleaning!) Nothing mattered anymore.
I got married later in life, and I thought that in doing so, I had a better chance at a long-lasting happy marriage. I knew marriage would be life changing, and going into it, I was willing to give up whatever might get in the way of our future together. Despite, that romantic and naïve notion, I remember telling him, “I don’t want us to lose ourselves in this relationship.” But I did lose myself. I gave up relationships. I gave up hobbies. I gave up anything that took me away from him. And I justified it by telling myself that I was doing it for us – for our marriage. Worst of all, I convinced myself that he would do the same for us, if it ever came to that. Regardless of my distorted expectation, my heart was completely severed when I found out that wasn’t the case.
A friend asked me the other day, “what makes Mini happy? What do you love doing?” I couldn’t find an answer. It’s been a long time since I asked myself that. If you had asked me six months ago I would have said, “making dinner for my husband, running errands with him, going on a road trip with him…” Although we weren’t together for very long, I can hardly remember who I was before we got married. And it hurts so bad to face the fact that I have to close this chapter now.
I am aware that people around the world are experiencing pain so much worse than what I’m going through. After all, I’ve spent the majority of my time recently watching the news to hear about the latest on the hurricanes around the country, the earthquake in Mexico, the mass shooting in Las Vegas – not so much to be in-the-know, but to run away from my own pain. The pain I’ve been trying so hard to avoid since the divorce. I finally decided to shut it all off and face my own demons instead.
There is no way to prepare for any kind of pain, but I know that the only way to get through it, is to just be with it. I’m hoping that in doing so, I can find what makes Mini happy again too.